Looking for a quote May 24, 2009 4:55 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a quote I'm pretty sure I read on MeFi years ago. My memory doesn't do it justice, but it basically said that until a man is 30, he still believes he could work out constantly, get buff, and become a Batman-like person saving the world. (There was more to it than that.) Does anyone know what I'm talking about, and can you link to the quote? Thanks!
posted by NotMyselfRightNow to MetaFilter-Related at 4:55 PM (25 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash

Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, and devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad.

Hiro used to feel this way, too, but then he ran into Raven. In a way, this was liberating. He no longer has to worry about being the baddest motherfucker in the world. The position is taken.
posted by lore at 4:59 PM on May 24, 2009 [22 favorites]


Awesome, that's it. Thanks lore!
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 5:00 PM on May 24, 2009


I think this is the metafilter comment that you're thinking of.
posted by cobaltnine at 5:00 PM on May 24, 2009


I'm pleased to hear that, despite my concern over lawn invasion, I'm still under 25.
posted by DU at 6:37 PM on May 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


Oh man, that's such a crazy, but awesome book - for more reasons than just the above quote. Maybe I'll re-read it this summer.
posted by Kimothy at 7:25 PM on May 24, 2009


I love Snow Crash and reread it once a year or so. It's a book where you can turn to any page and something fucking awesome is going on. Kind of like Dellamore Dellamorte / Cemetery Man, where you can skip to any point in the film and something fucked the hell up is going on.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:09 PM on May 24, 2009 [9 favorites]


Dellamore Dellamorte is *such* a great movie!
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:16 PM on May 24, 2009


Dellamore Dellamorte is to movies what heroin is to drugs. Once you've gone down that path, it's hard as hell to go back.
posted by item at 9:12 PM on May 24, 2009


As a sub-25 year old, everytime I hear that quote I think, "Yeah, that's right. I do think that. But it's probably true..I'm not all that bad. I mean, I couldn't take out a whole Colombian street gang."

...

" Eh, who am I kidding? Fatal disease, two years to live... I could totally do it. Neal doesn't know what he's talking about"
posted by niles at 10:55 PM on May 24, 2009


...and become a Batman-like person saving the world

I never really thought of it that way. But, yeah, Neal pretty much sketched out Batman Begins in that paragraph. Given his altercation with Gibson, I bet the Batman folks send him a pretty sweet royalty check every year.
posted by b1tr0t at 11:27 PM on May 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, and devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad.

I still think all of those things, and I'm 45. It's not that I have any illusions about how my body will recover from 45 years of abuse and neglect, or how my reflexes will compare to those of a younger man or woman. It's just that I'm so much more cunning now that I understand that the baddest motherfucker in the world doesn't have to rely on physical strength or endurance, because the baddest motherfucker in the world is flying totally under your radar, knew all of your strengths and weaknesses before you even noticed he/she existed, is always prepared for pretty much any contingency, and is willing to do absolutely anything, without hesitation, to get the job done. Basically, the baddest motherfucker in the world is the psychotic love-child of MacGyver and Supernanny, raised in the wild by Survivorman Les Stroud after watching Hannibal Lector eat his or her parents. In other words, the baddest motherfucker in the world is Martha Stewart. Do yourself a favor and pick up one of her 365 Ways to Kill a Man day calenders. It will change your life.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:55 PM on May 24, 2009 [6 favorites]


365 Ways to Kill a Man day calenders

Lukewarm on your comment, IRFH, till I got to this part. But now you're making sense! This idea is a goldmine. I give you one day to develop it before I steal it for my own ??? 3. Profit!
posted by grobstein at 12:04 AM on May 25, 2009


Heh. Be my guest, grobstein.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:21 AM on May 25, 2009


I would probably pay in excess of of $20 for a calendar that had 365 ways to kill a man on every page.
posted by DU at 5:57 AM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Screw 25, I'm 30 and I still know I could be that badass.
posted by allkindsoftime at 6:12 AM on May 25, 2009


But, yeah, Neal pretty much sketched out Batman Begins in that paragraph.

Eh, Batman Begins wasn't exactly exploring uncharted origin-story territory. It was nice to see the rich-wandering-ascetic-badass-in-training thing done explicitly and reasonably well in a movie finally instead of just being left as an exercise to the viewer, but I'd chalk the resemblance up more to Neal being a Batman fan than anything in the other direction.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:50 AM on May 25, 2009


I remember picking up Snow Crash as a overly serious and priggish teenager and going "A pizza delivery man? What? This is completely silly and stupid! gah!"

It took me years to realize it was supposed to be funny.
posted by The Whelk at 8:08 AM on May 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


The Deliverator. Heh. We've all wanted to live in a storage unit and code like hell. Well, I have.
posted by stubby phillips at 12:55 PM on May 25, 2009


It took me years to realize it was supposed to be funny.

Hehe. That was pretty much the only part of the book I liked. In fact, it's so different in tone and quality from the rest of the book that I remain convinced to this day that he wrote it once in a feverish burst and put it in a drawer somewhere waiting for a larger work to attach it to. I read Snow Crash because someone told me it was "better than Dune". Someday I will find that man and laugh in his face.
posted by adamdschneider at 3:53 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


But, yeah, Neal pretty much sketched out Batman Begins in that paragraph.

And he only published it 5 years after Batman: Year One!
posted by rodgerd at 5:36 PM on May 25, 2009


If you want to talk about Stephenson's prescience, just look at Google Earth. Every time I use it I think of the day when it'll all be updated in realtime, so that I can zoom in and find the location of the Raft, or check on the traffic on my way to work.

Also: Rat Things, though that is less something happening in the real world, and more what I call my dog when he zooms around the yard. But still.
posted by quin at 7:48 AM on May 26, 2009


Oddly enough, Stephenson didn't get quoted in the "How would one become Batman?" AskMe.
posted by steef at 8:27 AM on May 26, 2009


That book helped me fall in love with somebody.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:09 AM on May 27, 2009


That book helped me fall in love with somebody.

It was Neal Stephenson, right?
posted by grobstein at 12:38 PM on May 27, 2009


Him, and another MeFite. And maybe William Gibson, too. Domino effect and all that...
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 6:31 PM on May 28, 2009


« Older Do the Right Thing   |   Award for Mefite Genius? Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments